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Date: 22 December 2015. Fool Me Once...


As I finish preparations for departure I have spent time with others reflecting. When told I am "lucky" I wonder at their choices when compared with my own. Neighbors are paying over 1,000 per month for the privilege of living on a canal half a block from the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder at their decision-making process.

They could be like Tina and her crew:

If you want a boat tuck your wallet in your pocket and stop spending on flash and glitz. Do you really need cable television? There are things called books and lots are available at a library for free. Even small libraries have computers available for guests.

Marinas such as the one at Garrison's Bight in Key West have swap tables for books too.

Of course I am not a paragon of restraint and efficiency. I would like to think I have turned a new leaf and can thank a fellow I met locally for same. You see we were talking about our boats. Discussion got around to his belief that he should be able to fix everything aboard his boat himself.

That is because relying on outsiders is such a pain in the transom. I was sorely disappointed to learn he too has difficulty getting people to show up. I was under the mistaken impression that money made the difference between cooperation and waiting for repairmen. That is untrue.

Service workers ignore and lie to him as often as they lie to me!

No one wants to be waiting for a worker when they could be enjoying a dinghy raft-up.

In his case I suspect the irritation level far surpasses my own. My dock neighbor is a former business owner. He is used to a staff of employees who made sure his wishes were fulfilled. They also used to insure the timetable he delineated was adhered to.

And now the company is sold. I wonder that I am ignored as my needs are of "the little woman" and not so critical as those younger folks. He could do the work and cannot get people to arrive when they say.

Physically neither of us is what we were even ten years ago. Though I may know how to do something I do not have the strength nor practice to do so myself. And the engine cooling system is beyond my scope for certain. Fixed improperly could toast the engine so I wait. Impatiently.


The neighbor fired someone just yesterday. Bobbi was to be here in the morning. She had sent a text confirming this. Schedules were rearranged and we waited. At 1500 hours Bobbi called to say she would arrive the next day with her mother. The mother was going to sit on the dock while Bobbi worked.

No. And double NO. 

What on earth is Bobbi thinking?!?

When you come to a job be ready to work. Period. Her word could not be relied upon and so the gent will hire another.

This is not skilled work either. He wanted his boat emptied and cleaned.
It is not genius material. Another person will be hired on Monday.


For me the firing was a bit of an epiphany. I saw someone take charge of a situation. The gent could not change Bobbi so changed his response to her. She's no longer needed. Their business relationship is concluded.

I want to cruise and because of unreliable workers am delayed. That is soon to come to an end.

I have spent time in Boot Key Harbor (circa 2001) and want to return:


A favorite saying of my Daddy was:

Fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, mine.

Daddy was right. I have always been one who does not believe in Second Chances. Folks who get a "second" chance seem to believe a third is inevitable. That is incorrect, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Workers get a Final Opportunity to fulfill their promises.

Paul (the newest mechanic) said he would be here between Christmas and the New Year to finish my engine. I believe Paul is a man of his word. And by the first of January, you too will know if that is so.

Is it the world that has changed or am I remembering incorrectly?
Did independent workers in the past treasure their reputation or was it more haphazard than I recall?

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2015, 2023

Categories: Anchorages, Boats, Characters, Locations, Vignettes

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